When deciding on off-site or on-site shredding, there are a few key points to consider. First, just to clarify, off-site shredding means that material is transported in locked, GPS-monitored trucks, usually in locked containers, to a secure shredding facility . On-site is the same as mobile shredding — a truck comes to you, and the paper is
shred right there on the premises.
Arguments for one or the other include questions like: What is the more secure method? What is the most environmentally friendly choice? What does each cost? What's right for my business? All good questions, which hopefully we will shed some light on for you. The most important take-away, however, is that you, the customer, should ultimately have a choice, rather than be subject to your vendor's decision.
Every business today deals with some kind of confidential information and needs to be concerned about security. At Valley Green Shredding, we only offer on-site shredding. Our initial concern was the potentially large carbon footprint an 0n-site shredding truck could make on our environment, however, improved technology has reduced the carbon footprint of newer shredding trucks making it an environmentally friendly and highly secure choice. So how do you know what's best for you?
When the idea of mobile shredding was first introduced, “On-site, done right” was the popular slogan. While secure, it is generally more expensive than off-site shredding, and it can have a greater carbon footprint than having your shredding done off-site. Why? The truck’s engine must run to operate the shredder, consuming more fuel and emitting carbon monoxide. In buildings with enclosed docks, some facility managers have prohibited shredding at the dock because of noise and air pollution complaints, forcing the trucks out into the street. However, for those businesses with internal policies that require an employee to be there at all stages of document transport and shredding, then, mobile shredding is a good choice.
In addition, when you choose Valley Green Shredding for on-site shredding, you have a complete chain of custody from point-of-pickup to shipment for recycling. We don’t dump at the recycler who’s closest when the truck is full. We dump at a secure facility with whom we have a yearly signed agreement as to their only end process with the shredded paper is pulping.
Off-site shredding might be a better option for other customers. When a company has a high volume of information to shred, a mobile shredder may be too time-consuming or too small to complete the job all at once. This is especially true when purging numerous boxes of archived records. Each box must be emptied into a cart, each cart holds about eight boxes, and it takes two minutes to lift, dump and return the cart to the ground. All told it’s about five minutes to process a cart.
So what’s right for you?
If you have a small to medium amount of confidential material on a regular basis, or when you purge, on-site may be the right choice. If the property manager doesn’t allow the shredding truck to remain at the dock because of time or space limitations or noise or fumes, consider off-site. As you can see, there are a number of factors, and it’s not really “one size fits all.” To find out what makes sense for your business, give us a call.
Eric Wartel, CSDS
Eric is a certified secure destruction specialist (CSDS) with NAID and has been with the document destruction industry for several years. The laws that govern information security is ever changing and specialists like Eric need to be up-to-speed to assist their customers.